Senators at Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning unveiled another new face last time out while devising another new way to gain two points, and look to extend their winning streak to six games when the Ottawa Senators pay a visit Tuesday night. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh made his debut Saturday for the NHL-best Lightning, who rallied late in the third period to tie before edging Montreal 3-2 in a shootout.
“You have to give credit to the guys,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper told reporters after his team improved to 9-0-1 in the last 10 contests. “They’ve found a way to get points and that’s what you have to do.” McDonagh logged 19:15 of ice time in his first game with the Lightning and will be expected to carry a heavy load for an defense that has been shaky since the calendar turned to 2018. The Senators won’t be going back to the playoffs this season, but have showed some signs of life in March with points in four of six contests (3-2-1) after ending Florida’s nine-game point streak and eight-game home winning streak with a 5-3 triumph Monday. Ottawa accomplished the feat without leading scorer Mark Stone (20 goals, 62 points), who did not make the trip to the Sunshine State after suffering a leg injury Friday against Calgary.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN5, RDS2 (Ottawa), FS Sun (Tampa Bay)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (24-33-11): Forwards Matt Duchene and Magnus Paajarvi each notched a pair of goals in Monday’s victory - the third this month against a team fighting for a playoff spot. Captain Erik Karlsson continued to produce with two assists last time out and boasts 10 of his 52 points in the last seven games while Duchene has six points in his past five contests. Left wing Mike Hoffman is three points away from his reaching 50 for the third straight season and owns three goals to go along with five assists in the last eight games.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (48-17-4): Cooper switched J.T. Miller, who came over with McDonagh from the New York Rangers on Feb. 26, to a line with Nikita Kucherov and captain Steven Stamkos in the third period Saturday and the trio tied the game. “It’s a heck of an opportunity,” Miller, who has two goals and four assists in six games with Tampa Bay, told reporters. “It makes my job easy playing with those guys.” Kucherov has six of his league-leading 88 points in the last four games and Stamkos owns eight of his 79 in the past five contests.
1. Tampa Bay G Andrei Vasilevskiy (40-12-3) is expected to be in net to go for a franchise-record 41st victory.
2. Ottawa LW Alex Burrows’ next game will be his 900th in the NHL and RW Bobby Ryan needs one point to reach 500.
3. The Lightning won two of the first three meetings this season and 22 total goals were scored.